Searching Google+…

Kelly Dingee Kelly Dingee, Social Network Analysis, Social Recruiting, Sourcing

Months ago I became enamored with Google+.  It was a no brainer that the site would experience explosive growth and now, more than 8 months after it debuted, has in excess of 100 million profiles.  Yes, I know, its sticky factor is something like 3 minutes, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’m a sourcer, I want profiles.

And there’s plenty to go around.  As the site grows, so does the ability to search it.  And its internal search functionality is fun for me because it operates on some of the basic premises of the Google Web Search Engine, and to make it extra fun, no user guide is available.  I like being forced to figure it out.

But what I’ve noticed from playing with it for awhile now is that you can:

  • Use the “*” aka the asterisk if you’re in HR, or if you’re a sourcer, you probably call it the wildcard.  Why use it? It acts as a placeholder, so I can construct phrases like “i am a * * engineer”
  • It embraces the concept of stemming but you can force it to look for phrases or specific words with quotes “”.
  • The drop down menus allow you to narrow your results, so enter keywords and you can focus on people/pages or location.  But here’s the kicker, you can’t use both drop down filtering options.
  • Be flexible on location.  I’m in DC metro so I can use “DC”, “Washington, DC”, “Washington, D.C.”, ” *, MD”, Maryland, ” *, VA” or Virginia to attempt to narrow my results.
  • Save your searches.  Build it once, save it, and revisit it as often as you like.  Saved searches are accessible in the menu listing on the left side of your stream display.

Using the internal search functionality is also an easy way to generate a quick list of people to add to your circles.  I’m currently seeking a Communications Manager for one of my clients.  More and more when I have any marketing opportunities, I look to G+ as one of my primary resources, and I’m finding outstanding people like this guy.  And just a heads up, right before I search and add these marketing types? I make sure I’ve posted the opportunity available as the most current item in my stream – so they can see what I have available and why I’m following them.